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Hardball With Chris Matthews

News/Business. (2012) (CC)

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Wisconsin 10, Us 9, Florida 8, Paul Ryan 8, America 7, Ryan 6, U.s. 5, Mitt Romney 5, Tammy Baldwin 4, Washington 4, Cynthia 4, Newt Gingrich 3, Neosporin Eczema Essentials 3, Tommy Thompson 3, Bill Clinton 3, Barack Obama 3, Msnbc 3, Romney 3, Ohio 3, Connecticut 3,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2012)  (CC)  

    September 26, 2012
    4:00 - 5:00pm PDT  

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entire campaign. it's a sharp taste of what's being used to defeat president obama. newt gingrich. what if obama is so outside our comprehension that only if you understand kenyon anti-colonial behavior can you begin to piece together his actions. and -- >> i would like to have him show his birth certificate, because if he can't, then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics. >> and -- >> i wish this president would love how to be an american. >> and -- >> no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. >> and this tweet, obama sympathizes with attackers in egypt. and then last night -- >> he's not a real president. >> tonight on "hardball" we show you the true ugly campaign being
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run against the president. even in the face of this ugly attack, there are two big new poll numbers running in his direction. we give them to you tonight. let's check the hardball scoreboard. according to a "new york times"/cbs/quinnipiac poll, obama leads romney by ten points. down in florida, the president's lead in the poll is nine, 53-44. the president looks to be opening up a big lead now, even in the face of this coordinated attack from the right. with me now are mother jones bureau chief and msnbc political contributor david corn and cynthia tucker. i want to talk about the good news for the obama team right now. cynthia, why do you think -- take a minute here -- despite this ugly campaign i've just pointed out in its pattern, its thread, what they are doing to try to delegitimize this president, why is he doing well in the toughest states? >> we've talked about what campaign has done wrong. we haven't spent as much time talking about the things obama
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has done right. obama has done a lot of things right. for one thing, he's just a stronger candidate. he relates to people better. he's more approachable. his favorability rates are higher, while romney has high unfavorability ratings. but obama actually has a set of principles he believes in. so, he has a message that he carries out on the campaign trail over and over again. mitt romney doesn't appear to have anything he believes in so he has spent a lot of the campaign flip-flopping. obama makes early moves that are -- >> i understand you -- >> -- that are doing well for him. >> i believe you understand they made a smart, strategic move to go after the 1% and go after fairness and the whole populous campaign that was pushed and
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denied and questioned by all the establishment. obama pushed ahead without saying, no, this is what this campaign's about. >> absolutely. you know, there were democratic big wigs saying, don't attack bain. bill clinton had something, you know, not enthusiastic to say about it. but obama was -- kept hitting romney on the bain message. he knows what he believes. he wouldn't be thrown off course by a little bit of bickering from the peanut gallery. and those ads work. so did the auto bailout, particularly in ohio. that's an early move obama made that republicans criticized, mitt romney was against it. but it is making a huge difference in ohio's comeback. >> let me get a look at the latest poll and bring in david. a new washington post poll has president obama out front in ohio and florida. inside the numbers we see how
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the president has hit home with ohio voters on understanding economic problems people are having right now. obama beats romney by 31 on connecting on their problems. 51 points in florida -- actually, 15. on handling taxes, president obama beats romney by a wide margin, 17 points in ohio. in florida it's closer, leads by one. in handling medicare, obama beats romney by 1 in ohio, 15 in florida. what i understand, looking at the differential, florida has a lot of retired people, obviously. very sensitive. in a sense, ohio has people who can't afford to get down to florida in the wintertime. their social security, medicare, and maybe if they're lucky, some pension and savings.
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>> you know, we've talked about this for months now. after the 2010 election, obama sat down and thought about what his message is, his vision is, his strategy going into 20 1237 that's what i wrote about in "showdown" and he's stuck to this with such devotion and passion, because he believes in it. there's a real distinction between him and republicans when it comes to all those issues you just talked about, but these are value-driven differences. not just policy differences. you want to do this with the deficit. i want to do that. it's like the reason i want to do this is because i have a different set of values than republicans. >> what are those values? spell them out. >> using government as a communal progressive force to protect the safety net and to come together and invest in innovation, education, infrastructure. we're in it together. versus the ryan budget, which used as a stand-in first republican nominee, which says we're on it alone, get rid of government and give you a voucher, find medicare on your own. here comes romney and he sort of fits the mold. he's a 1 percenter.
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he shows no empathy, even before the 47%. >> a pure market guy. >> they use bain, from the beginning, as cynthia noted, as a value. he's out there making money. i'm thinking of wider ames and goals. >> a new bloomberg goal that has president obama leading mitt romney by six points nationally. for one big reason, half of the polls say they have an unfavorable view of mitt romney. bloomberg reports, this is a september high for a presidential challenger in the last three decades. bloomberg quotes a 40-year-old insurance agent from virginia, self-described libertarian on why she's going to vote for obama. now, this isn't cheerleading for obama by any means but explains romney's problem. if i have to choose between the two, i prefer barack obama over mitt. i think mitt romney is so out of touch. it's mostly a protest against him and the republican establishment. it's not that i think obama has done such a great job. here's an independent speaking. romney's high unfavorable numbers can be linked to awkward and cringe-inducing moments in debates and on the campaign trail. let's listen to some. >> rick, i'll tell you what,
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10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet? >> i'm not in the betting business. >> we could raise taxes on people. that's not -- >> corporation! >> corporation! >> corporations are people, my friend. ♪ o beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain ♪ ♪ for purple mountains majesty ♪ above the fruited plain >> well, i don't know why he got into the fruited plain there, but de. the problem is not so much his singing voice, which is not worse or better than my own, i must say, but he does say things like instinctively when you let romney be romney, bet you 10,000 bucks, quick, put it on the table, i've got it in my wallet. this thing about corporations being people. no, they're not. corporations fire people. corporations are bottom line institutions. >> he's a very rich guy who just doesn't relate to the struggles of ordinary people. and because he has had this problem for months now, has shown up in the polls, that's what made this 47% remark so absolutely devastating for him.
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it played into the larger narrative that mitt romney is some rich guy, who's very condescending about people, who are not in his fortunate circumstances. you know, there's so much things wrong with the 47% remark, it's hard to cover them all. but one of them is, here's a guy who's talking about people who don't pay anything in taxes and he refuses to disclose very much about his own taxes. we still don't know what romney was paying in 2005, 2006, how many tax shelters he has. these are not things the average american relates to. and they don't believe that he has a plan for helping them. >> they released a new -- i want you to respond to this ad because this is the kind of ad you run when you're losing. at least losing an argument. look at this. they released this ad, the romney people today. it appears to be an effort to
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contain the damage done by what you just said, cynthia, 47% disclosure they didn't want to disclose. let's listen. >> president obama and i both care about poor and middle class families. the difference is, my policies will make things better for them. we shouldn't measure compassion by how many people are on welfare. we should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare and get a good paying job. >> who measures compassion by how many people are on welfare? who is the story man they're trying to argue with? >> they are trying to make a caricature out of president obama calling him the food stamp president. this reminds me of the story where the woman comes home, finds her husband in bed with
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his best friend and he says, honey, it's not as bad as it looks. you have the 47 -- >> is that a joke or true life story? >> i'm sure it's happened once or twice. you have the 47% remark with romney speaking and other people have said it, not just me, with complete conviction and passion, telling people what he really thinks. and then you have this guy sitting in front of a camera, reading a script. you have to ask, okay, do they expect people to buy this now? this is -- >> politically, i have an elephant's memory for politics. fortunately or not, it's made my career. in 1960 this is exactly what richard nixon said in his debate with jack kennedy. i share jack kennedy's mission. i share his concerns. we have the same goals. people at home are cringing, why
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am i giving him money, why am i voting for a guy who has the same goals as another guy. cynthia, you will probably not remember the nixon/kennedy debates, but you don't say the other guy is a good, compassionate guy and he cares about people. i do, too! that's what he's saying. i'm just like him. if you believe he's compassionate, i am too! he's selling obama. >> you say that if you don't have anything else to say, chris. another thing the bloomberg poll shows is that voters -- more voters believe that barack obama has a concrete plan for helping the middle class than believe that mitt romney has such a plan. that's another problem mitt romney has. he had expected that the economy would win the election for him. all he would have to do is go to people and say, i'm not barack obama. i can do a better job. in fact, he needed to do a lot more. obama has laid out specific proposals. he's had a job for months now, but mitt romney has been very vague about his proposals for helping the middle class. >> you know what, this strikes me, just thinking now, listening
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to cynthia, he seems to are been running this campaign for the last six months as someone who expected the voters would want him. not that he would have to sell himself, his plan, his ideas. that the voters would want him as a white knight, coming in and rescuing the company, that is, the u.s. economy. and he didn't have to do much beyond that. as he's finding out, that's not the way the game plays if you want to be leader of the united states. >> there are chinks in his armor, by the way. he didn't count on the knight from arkansas showing up either, bill clinton. >> sir lancelot. >> sir lancelot showed up in the fields and he's not the guy to go jousting with. thank you, to complete the last reference to that metaphor. coming up, more right wing vitriol. newt gingrich said president obama isn't a real president, he said that last night, he says he's a false president. when will this right wing effort stop to stop the legitimacy of this president? we'll talk about the relentless campaign.
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also, the lead president obama enjoys in the polls may be helping democrats on other job races like senate. tonight we'll talk to one senate candidate whose fortunes are on the rise, wisconsin's tammy baldwin. mitt romney isn't succeeding as a solo act so the romney campaign is putting mitt romney and paul ryan on the campaign trail together, sort of a karaoke duet, i guess. what does it tell you the big draw on the republican ticket is the number two guy? let me finish tonight with how the democratic party has a huge opportunity to grow after this election. this is "hardball," the place for politics. business pro. governor of getting it done. you know how to dance... with a deadline. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price.
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now that there's no chance of a republican replacing todd akin in the missouri senate race, claire mccaskill is hitting akin hard for his we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] our wells fargo bankers are here to listen, offer guidance and provide you with options tailored to your business. we've loaned more money to small businesses than any other bank for ten years running. so come talk to us to see how we can help.
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there's an attempt on the right wing to delegitimatize president obama, an attempt to declare our president not really
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an american. >> i would like to have him show his birth certificate. >> i wish this president would learn how to how to be an american. >> no one's asked for my birth certificate. >> this talk and false welfare ads is what president obama faces in the next 41 days. alex wagner host of "now" on msnbc and eugene robinson is a pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post." thanks for joining us tonight. you know, i just wonder, why is there so little note of what's clearly a pattern in this campaign? on one side this constant reaching the president is not an american. never stops. birtherism, and on the other side, this attempt to suppress the minority vote. it's clearly an attempt to win an election in as ugly as possible way and no one seems to
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talk about it. >> well, it's shameful. i think that there -- to some degree there has been a fairly robust discussion about the voter fraud stuff. the democrats and, you know, progressives have managed to beat back republican efforts to disenfranchise thousands if not millions of voters. but the president is not american, under the spell of muslim, and the fifth highest documentary of all time which purports the president to be anti-american, kenyan revolutionary in the vein of his father, barack obama sr. this is something the republican party has been furthering since barack obama was a candidate with the jeremiah wright stuff. it's doubling down on incredibly divisive racialized brand of politics that doesn't serve the republicans well this election cycle but really does not serve them well in the long term. this party, i don't see what the future of the republican party is if these are the spokes
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people, the newt gingrich, the donald trumps of the world. >> you know, gene, it didn't start here, of course. there was an attempt, nixon what he would say about adlai stevenson in the '50s, the red scare was used obviously. they weren't one of us. bill clinton was accused of sneaking off to russia, remember that, back when he ran. he was some sort of red. mike dukakis was a guy that wouldn't pledge allegiance to the united states, somehow a card-carrying member of the aclu. all this dark, kind of referencing. they're not really one of us. but then with the ethnic factor, because he has the african name and he's black, the doubling down on this, well, he's not one of us. >> right. race adds to this, to the armament they're using here. it's a huge factor in this. but what i think is interesting is that this seems to resonate with the hate obama crowd but doesn't seem to be resonating a lot with other folks. and -- >> it already has.
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but why are -- you cover politics. why do they keep putting out this stuff? why is newt out there the other night, he's the craziest -- not the craziest, the meanest. to use a kid's words, but he is, saying he's not american. sununu who looks like their watch dog, attack dog saying, can't he learn how to be an american? they don't say that about walter mondale, didn't say that about each other. they said that about bob dole. >> they don't say it in this way. they're throwing this against the wall and hoping it will stick. again, it seems to charge up the people who have already made up their minds, made up their minds years ago. >> here are the smart guys in -- i guess, boston. mitt romney has been running red meat ads on medicare. this is false adds. this is when he says it's feeding his base, obama.
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>> here he is in 1996 president clinton and a bipartisan congress helped end welfare as we know it, by requiring work for welfare. on july 12th president obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. under obama's plan you wouldn't are to work or train for a job. they just send you your welfare check. and welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare. mitt romney will restore the work requirement because it works. >> so all white people. it's fine. that normally wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but when that ad actually ran and hit the air waves romney defended it to "usa today's" susan page and in the interview romney said, quote, romney defends the welfare ads as accurate, accusing obama of offering state waivers as a political calculation designed to, quote, shore up his base, which is code for african-american democrats. so, there you have an ad with all whites in it. romney comes out himself and says, this is so he can feed his base by saying, we'll get rid of those work requirements for people on welfare. can you obama giving a big speech to the guys in the inner
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city, guess what, ladies and gentlemen, i'm getting rid of the work requirement. yea! it's a totally ridiculous, demeaning idea, demeaning to both recipients of welfare who have to take it and a president accused of using it to shield and trying to get votes with it. it's so demeaning. >> it's an update of the ronald reagan welfare mean, same racialized politics mitt romney has been playing for the last eight, ten months. this is the -- the welfare requirement, the idea the president is abolishing it, he is taking a gop prescription for reforming welfare and putting it in place, which is giving more power to the states. you know, the details of that, the fact that tons of things the president has embraced are actually rooted in conservative ideology has been a completely lost or disavowed by the republican party. i mean, they -- mitt romney has to win 60% of white voters and will stop at nothing to shore up
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every white vote he can. and that includes playing to the lowest card in the deck, which is incredibly racially charged, incendiary rhetoric designed to stoke hatred and fulmen, i guess, enthusiasm to get folks out to the polls. >> gene, look at this. every time i see this, i see it infrequently, i cry. i've been accused of being too emotional about politics. four years ago, john mccain stood up to a supporter who called then-senator obama an arab. here's his instantaneous, instinctive reaction. take a look. >> i have read about him and he's not -- he's a -- he's an arab. he's not -- >> no, ma'am. >> no? >> no, ma'am, no, ma'am. he's a decent, family man, citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. that's what this campaign is all about. >> yeah, that's called honor.
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it's called honor. we're not seeing a lot of that. we're not seeing any of that. >> i haven't seen that on either side in this campaign. >> john mccain is a genuine guy. disagree with him, agree with him, whatever, it's called honor. the republican party used to believe in that. >> put it more crudely, there's some crap i won't eat. i'm not going to go along with what i see as is an ethnic campaign, that shouldn't be part of this campaign. i'm not going to go along with what you said. that instinctive no, no, is the greatest american spirit. i'm not going to do that. >> imagine mitt romney doing that. >> i would like to see every politician do that once in their life. thank you for coming on, alex wagner. you were great. thank you, gene. we'll be right back. make an emergency landing. [ male announcer ] how do you make america's favorite recipes?
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if. on saturday mitt romney had to present a bold idea. >> when you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go exactly. there's no place -- you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft because the windows don't open. i don't know why they don't do that. >> just as kennedy challenged a man to go to the moon, not because it is easy, but because it is impossible. >> back to "hardball." once again, mitt romney, if you heard them there, proves to be one of the only people on earth, earthlings, who says aircraft when he's talking about a plane he's been on. with today's republican
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candidate in mind let's bounce back to the 1951 sci-fi "the day the earth stood still" when an alien touches down on earth. here's a refresher. >> i came here to give you these facts, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this earth of yours will be reduced to a burned out cinder. >> i don't know about you, but i can't help but see mitt romney there. let's take a look at a snapshot from that movie. there's klaatu played by michael rennie and he looks like a candidate with a 1950's sci-fi dobble-gainer. back to earth. francois hollande weighed in on the u.s. presidential race
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yesterday and almost chooses a candidate to endorse. here's what he said to reporters at the u.n. yesterday when asked if he knew about mitt romney's attacks on socialism. quote, yes, that's why i'll be careful not to say anything at all on this subject because as you'd imagine if a socialist supported one of these two candidates, that would cost him dear. so i suppose i should endorse mitt romney but i won't. finally talking to extremes, how did minnesota's lieutenant governor solon ramp up extra publicity for an event to help support military families? we'll call it a high-profile arrival. let's take a look. that's not on my bucket list. skydiving. lieutenant governor teamed up with a u.s. army parachute team to skydive at 120 miles per hour. anyway, from an altitude of about 13,000 feet, right onto the minnesota state capital
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grounds. she followed the dive with a speech, encouraging people to support military families across the country. good for her. up next, president obama's uptick in the polls is helping democrats run for office across the country. i'm an expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown.
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i'm page hopkins. iranian president ahmadinejad addressed in a rambling speech saying that his nation lives under a constant threat. embattled todd akin picked up two endorsements, santorum and jim demint are voicing support for them. there have been 400 newest nile cases. so far, 3500 people have been
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infected. 147 have died. now we're going to take you right back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." the battle for united states senate comes down to a handful of races across the country as republicans need to net just four seats to take control. one of those races is in wisconsin, if they win the present seat but momentum has shifted in recent weeks to democratic candidate, congresswoman tammy baldwin leading her republican challenger, tommy thompson, by four points in the latest ppp poll. congresswoman baldwin joins us right now. you seem to be doing pretty good in wisconsin, a state causing so much noise in the last couple years because of public employees. how does that affect your race, scott walker, unions on one
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side, public employee/unions, how does that affect the interest voters are having in this year's election? >> well, i think we've seen voters in wisconsin engage more than ever before. we've, as you said, had a lot going on in our state. a lot on the ballot. people are organized, people are thinking hard about the future and jobs and the economy. so, i think it's, if anything, going to actually increase voter turnout and participation. we're always a high participation state, but i think we're going to see it grow. >> you know, i was at the democratic convention down in charlotte covering for the network, and i was taken by -- sure, there were a lot of good speeches but the one that seemed to move people, didn't have any rhetoric, it was common sense,
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it was bill clinton. what effect do you think bill clinton had on talking about people's challenges and what the president's faced in office? >> he gave an amazing speech. and what was really important about it is just matter of factually walking through the allegations that have been raised, coming back with responses. i mean, there's been so much misleading information, especially from the right wing super pacs and special interests. he just methodically went through it all. i have to say my favorite line from his speech was about balancing budgets. it's based on arithmetic. you may not know this, chris, but i was a math major, a double major in math and government. i get it. we have to make things add up if we're going to get our economy back on track, start creating jobs and attack our deficit. >> let's take a look at this. in the midst of mitt romney's 47% fallout, what people found out what he really thought in a room that cost 50,000 bucks to get in the door, tommy thompson tossed blame on romney for his own sliding poll numbers. the guy running against you is blaming the guy running against obama. let's watch him in action. >> the presidential thing is bound to have an impact on every
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election. you know, whether you're a democrat or republican. if you're stand bearer for the president is not doing well it's going to reflect on the down boll ballot. >> right now, obama leads romney by seven points in wisconsin. what effect do you think -- when you're traveling every day, working 24 hours a day practically campaigning, your head is around meeting people, remembering names, being nice to people, and trying to think. the other thing going on the whole time, they're trying to think to make their president. how does that get into people's minds, do you think, when they're talking to you? >> yeah, i have to tell you that when people are focusing on the u.s. senate race they're asking themselves a couple basic questions, whose side are you on? who's fighting for the hard working middle class families of wisconsin? they know i'm on their side and that's what i've done. they're also learning a lot about what tommy thompson has been doing for the last decade
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of his life. he left wisconsin and joined the bush administration. in his service there, he gave the drug companies a sweetheart deal with the medicare part "d" program. he made it illegal for medicare to bargain with the drug companies in order to get better prices for seniors. and then he did the revolving door. he's been working at a big lobbying firm, making millions of dollars representing those powerful interests that already have too much say in washington. so wisconsin people are saying, whose side are you on? they are figuring out i'm squarely on their side. that's the fight i've always taken. >> good luck out there. you're doing very well. you're moving up in the polls, making it happen. tammy baldwin, running for senator in wisconsin. polls are moving. thanks for coming on "hardball." with me now is a man who's very nonpartisan, trying to figure this out, msnbc political analyst and politics editor chris cirilli. like you, i watch these races all the time and i'm con founded by, to me, so many races like massachusetts, connecticut, nevada, certainly montana, north
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dakota, missouri, are all to me within the margin of error. they all look close. >> yeah, it's kind of interesting, chris, because i think congresswoman baldwin has benefitted from this. as you've seen over the last 2 1/2, 3 weeks, move nationally at the presidential level and in swing states to president obama, you've seen down ballot, tim kaine in virginia, tammy baldwin in wisconsin move as well. what's interesting, as you mentioned, connecticut, to be honest, i did not think -- i'm from connecticut. linda mcmahon is republican nominee, she ran in 2010 and lost in a very good republican year. she's remarkably close at the moment to the congressman chris murphy, which you wouldn't think, given the last couple of weeks. i mean, broadly senate
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candidates have benefitted but there are exception. >> is that women saying it's about time we have a woman in senate from connecticut? i think she can win. i want to remind people as i did to some of our producers today, even in years where one party wins the presidency, there are people that come out of nowhere and win in the other direction. joe biden won that senate seat at the age of 29 and hasn't lost since in the governor year so there will be people that go the other way. >> i would say honestly, chris, and i hate to be so bottom line about this, but i think the best thing linda mcmahon has going for her is she can continue to write as many checks she likes. she's very, very wealthy. she spent $50 million in the 2010 campaign and she's running against a guy that's not well known. >> she's bigger. >> yeah, she's a big figure and, look, she's spending tens of millions of dollars on tv. it's a fascinating outlier. you think everything shifted towards democrats and i would say broadly -- >> is she pro-choice or
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pro-life, where is she on the abortion rights? >> did not talk about it, i believe -- >> wow. >> she focuses exclusively as a businesswoman. she shouldn't talk about it in connecticut because she won't win on that issue. >> by the way, massachusetts is looking murky as ever with scott brown. same as -- totally murky. thank you very much, the pro around here. up next, paul ryan revs up republicans. mitt romney, not so much. what's going on between these two? is this marriage working? they were dating all right but i'm not sure this thing is working. we'll be back to figure out if ryan is on top or romney in this fight. ♪ empur-pedic moves. [ male announcer ] why not talk to someone who owns an adjustable version of the most highly recommended bed in america? ask me about my tempur advanced ergo. goes up. goes up. ask me what it's like to get a massage anytime you want. goes down. goes down. [ male announcer ] tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. ergonomics. [ male announcer ] tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america. [ female announcer ] for more information
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we're back. conservatives were thrilled when mitt romney took their advice and picked u.s. congressman paul ryan as his running mate. which the campaign came under criticism, they begged him to unleash the young conservative star, ryan. today comes news of romney/ryan infusion. the two will be spending more time together on the trail in the coming weeks. will this double act, duo, energize the campaign? michael sheerer writes for "time" magazine. michael, you first. i was impressed when he picked a guy that showed guts, picked a conservative with a real agenda, a real word on the budget, tricky stuff like medicare changes and then he had his good speech. they both had good speeches together. and then he seemed to have a one-might stand with the guy and split.
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now he's back saying we're dating again, we're going to show up together. what's that about? >> remember that week when they first came together, the word from the campaign, the press was bold. >> it was bold. >> it was a bold pick. the idea was, you bring ryan in and he -- you make mitt romney, who's never been conservative, golden boy into a movement leader, an ideological leader. issue of medicare, which is a very delicate dance for them, especially in states like florida. i think what they've seen the last few weeks is the story is now about mitt romney personally, and by bringing ryan back in, they turn it back, they're hoping, into a story about the ideas, about the contrast, about the policies they're putting forward. >> well, john nichols, if you go back into ryan territory now, you do risk what's there, waiting for you. a friend of mine or a family member who's a doctor told me, this is a real problem, medicare, messing around with people's insurance, which for most people is medicare, is dangerous territory for any candidate for president.
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>> i think it is incredibly dangerous, and i would remind folks that paul ryan was given a task over these last few weeks, and that was to secure the state of iowa. he went to iowa repeatedly, campaigned there a lot at the state fair and events around, and even in smaller cities. and at the end of the process, we get polling that shows romney/ryan to be down eight, nine points in iowa. so the notion that paul ryan brings a magic to this ticket, i think is beginning to fade. >> i don't think he believes he's magic, because he's running for re-election in the united states congress, even though he's running for vice president. he's already got his plan "b" in effect. anyway, if you've heard ryan, the ad he had running, you would think it was the romney campaign. think again. here he is up and running in wisconsin for his own congressional campaign in case he doesn't make it to pennsylvania avenue or to the vice president's house. let's take a look. >> can america afford the path we're on? >> our country has a critical decision to make. will we leave something better or worse for our children?
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politicians from both parties have made empty promises which will soon become broken promises if we fail to act now. we must take action to prevent the most predictable economic crisis in our country's history. washington promotes a culture of dependency. we need a culture of accountability and personal responsibility. >> so, if governor romney gives a concession speech, which is always the best part of election night coverage, i hope we get to cover them all, because it's true when this happens, somebody lost, somebody won, he will now say, sorry, governor, i've got to go over to my victory speech, at my congressional campaign headquarters. it's going to be so weird. >> i think to be fair, i think joe biden ran ads in delaware in 2008. >> did he? >> i think he did. so you can do this. but you're absolutely right, and -- >> let me do the math on that. 72. go ahead. >> ryan is sitting -- >> no -- >> -- up to be -- >> he was up, mike? >> i think he was. >> and ryan is setting himself
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up here to be what he always wanted to be, win or lose. so the election doesn't determine ryan's fate. if romney loses, there's going to be a huge chorus of the republican party saying, it was just that guy's fault. >> whose fault? >> mitt romney's fault. >> that's what i think. john, you write for "the nation," you're not a right-winger, but don't you have a sense they'll say, that's the way the pendulum goes. they'll stay he didn't have enough ideological weight to win. >> i think you're right about that, but i also think that paul ryan is worried about that issue. and, you know, paul ryan is a very ambitious political player. he's a nice guy. hard worker, very disciplined. i think much more disciplined than mitt romney. >> he's up at 4:00 in the morning and does push-ups. i know, it's pretty amazing. >> and hundreds of them, man, while listening to "rage against the machine." but he is a disciplined player with a political career track. i think he is worried about being on the bottom of a badly losing ticket.
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you know, it didn't really go that well for sergeant shriver after running with mcgovern in '72. so i do think that ryan thinks about it. my sense is that he wants to get out there and be more in front on this ticket. whether that creates tension, i don't know. there's no question that at one point, mitt romney and paul ryan really liked one another, and really thought they were going to gel. we have not seen that yet. and frankly, they need to do that in october if they're going to begin to turn this campaign around. >> is this important to you? do you see they have to look like they like each other? look like a duet. >> and i haven't seen anything that shows that they don't personally like each other. they seem to be getting together fine on the bus. >> i think they're two different people. there's one person, we all know the terms, conviction politician. that's ryan. nobody would ever call mitt romney a conviction politician, ever. they're not to be confused. anyway, thank you john nichols, and thank you, michael shere. when we return or when i return, let me finish with the democratic party's big opportunity to become a huge
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political party after that election, after this election. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] ordinary lotions aren't made to treat eczema,
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let me finish tonight with this. it seems the democratic party
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has an opportunity to grow after this election. i know that most of the focus is the change that's been made in the republican party, how it's moving inexorably from a center right to a far right party. how the mainliners are dying off and the tea partyers are becoming the mainstream. all that's happening, there's no denying it. and it's because the republican party is morphing into a right-wing party, that i see an opportunity for the democrats, should they choose to embrace it. there are a lot of people out there, i grew up with them, who would not call themselves liberal, but who are pragmatic for a lot of things that liberals are for. they like and rely on social security, on medicare, and for purposes of long-term care, medicaid. they care about good public schools, and they want the government to do a good job protecting the health of the air they breathe and what they eat. these people believe in the science they studied in school. and they take a live and let live attitude toward other people in this country. they don't want a big churchy government telling them how to live. so if the democrats are smart,
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even reasonable, they will make the biggest grab in history for the people that the new right-wing party is leaving behind, as it shifts further and further, leaving a legacy of barry goldwater and ronald reagan behind. democrats, pay attention. this is your chance to build a party back up to that grand coalition of the new deal and new frontier years. why on earth wouldn't you? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. 41 days until the 2012 election and only seven days until the first presidential debate. mitt romney is telling nbc news, the race is tied. really? well, tonight we'll reintroduce the romney campaign to the concept of arithmetic. this is "the ed show," let's get to work. >> president obama and i both care about poor and middle class families. the difference is, my policies will make things better for them. >> mitt romney is still trying to clean